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Applying Spray Foam Over Barrel Roofs


Barrel roofs are a problem for most roofing systems as they have a varied slope. Starting in the center, the roof is mostly flat, but as it goes towards the edge the slop increases. It looks like a barrel tipped on its side, hence the name. This slope creates obvious safety concerns, but also concerns surrounding roof installation. Let’s look at problems cause by barrel roofs that spray foam can overcome:

barrel roofs
Spray foam’s versatility allowed this barrel roof to be restored in a non-invasive manner.

Equipment Concerns

When working on a barrel roof, a major problem that often arises is what to do with your equipment. Where can you set it up, can you easily access it, is it safe? A single-ply membrane is almost impossible to install on a barrel roof simply because you can’t get a good seam-welder down on the edges of the roof. Metal roofs are easier because you only need drills to secure the panels, but if those have cords even that can become difficult.

Spray foam allows you to keep the rig on the ground and simply run hose up to the rooftop. This hose is managed by a member of the crew and stays out of everyone’s way. Foam lets you work all the way on the edge of the roof with no problems concerning safety or logistics.

Material Concerns

An issue with metal roofs on a barrel roof is what type of panels can you use? You can’t just use any metal panel on a curved roof, they have to be specially manufactured for the project. Otherwise you’d have a rigid barrel roof with visible edges and corners in the slope.

With spray foam, you can use the same type of foam you’d use of a flat roof, or a slightly sloped roof. You don’t have to special order different foam for a barrel roof, you can use the same type of roofing foam you always use.


There are issues surrounding barrel roofs that make installing most roofing systems difficult. However, barring the standard safety concerns that are present with every system on a barrel roof, spray foam can be installed without any issues caused by the barrel roof. Spray foam is a great fit for barrel roofs and can really benefit owners of buildings with barrel roofs.

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